A Picture Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: VOICE Support Trait: IDEA DEVELOPMENT

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Student Samples: Giving Voice to Opposites

voice descriptors inspire a two-voice
monologue or poem

The writing of author Donald Hall is currently inspiring student writers to try new techniques with the traits of voice and idea development.Join us in teaching (and adapting) this on-line lesson and sharing your students' work.

You can publish up to three of your students' edited and finished stories at this page.

Use these samples to inspire your student writers! Discussing the strengths of published student samples before, while, and after using this on-line assignment is important. If your students are engaged in trait- or skill-inspired discussions about any of the samples we've posted here, they will produce better writing, especially if you help them take their writing all the way through the writing process.

Thank you, those who share their students' writing with us.

Additional Student Samples Being Sought:
Grades 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

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WritingFix is currently seeking additional student samples from this writing assignment that can be featured in this space. Submitted student work must show evidence of revision, editing, and the final draft must be typed and sent through e-mail. Teachers: if you can help us obtain one, two or three student samples, along with a digital photo of the student(s) and a signed permission slips, we will send you a complimentary copy of one of the Northern Nevada Writing Project's print publications.

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Student Samples: Early Elementary

The Lizard and the Gecko
by Brandon, first grade writer

I have a blue belly.

I have cool spots.

I eat crunchy crickets.

I eat juicy bugs.

I like to dig in the sand. I am a blue belly lizard.

I like to climb trees. I am the leopard gecko.

I am the Lizard. I am the Dog.
by Andrew, second grade writer

I like to eat green crickets and sit on a rock.

I like to eat juicy meat and chase fun toys.

I am afraid of scary humans.

I am afraid of windy storms.

I think about climbing hard rocks. I am the lizard.

I think about eating snake bones. I am the dog.

Bunnies and Wolves
by Patti, third grade writer

I like to eat juicy carrots.

I like to eat yummy meat.

I like to hop high, bounce and sleep.

I like to hunt for prey, eat and run.

I have humongous ears and a pink nose.

I am gray, brown and have sharp teeth.

I like to hop, play, eat and hide in the green bushes all day.
I make a little soft whisper.

I like to hunt in the meadow. I make a loud growl.

I am afraid of people, big dogs, loud guns and loud noises.
I am the bunny.

I am afraid of bigger predators and thunder. I am the wolf.

(Click here to print Brandon, Andrew, and Patti's writing)

Student Samples: Upper Elementary

Little Brother, Big Sister
by McKenna, fourth grade writer

Little Brother:
Every morning I wake up and get dressed, for I am the little brother.

Big Sister:
Every morning I wake up and eat breakfast, for I am the big sister.

Little Brother:
I love collecting in my free time and guess what...I collect pennies, and rocks ’cause I am the little brother.

Big Sister:
I love listening to music while I relax on the sofa, for I am the big sister.

Little Brother:
My whole life is basically all about collecting, singing, football, and soccer, for I am the little brother.

Big Sister:
On the other hand, my whole life is basically about reading, doing sports and writing, for I am the big sister.

Little Brother:
I’m a cat lover ‘cause I am the little brother.

Big Sister:
I’m a polar bear fan and I want to stop Global Warming, for I am the big sister.

Little Brother and Big Sister:
Either way we are both a team.


I am the Drummer. I am the Flutist.
by Madeleine, sixth grade writer

My life.
But really,
Isn’t every life
A competition?
More importantly,
Is competition everyone’s life?
I think it is,
For I am the drummer.

Use-less, unimportant rivalry.
Why is everyone so caught up in competition?
Competition is jealousy.
I know, for I am the flutist.

Standing out,
I love standing out.
Cutting edge.
Out there. I love the feel of the spotlight
And every pair of eyes
On me.
I love when I start the song.
1, 2, 3, 4!


(Click here to read Madeleine's entire poem, as well as three poems from fellow classmates)

Student Samples: Middle School

I am the Athlete. I am the Poet.
by Sophia, seventh grade writer

I don’t think of winning, I think of making my work my own.
When I’m writing, my words mean something to me.
I don’t mind of those reading them don’t feel the same.

That’s almost all I think about.
I try to involve anything I can with winning.
Eating the fastest.
Staying up the latest.
Walking the most.

I’ve lost in my life plenty, and that’s okay.
With writing there is no winning or losing.
At least not to me.

I can’t lose.
I just can’t.
I work too hard.
I practice too much.
What’s the point if you don’t win?


(Click here to read Sophia's entire piece, as well as two pieces from fellow classmates)

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